What?!? (Shocked and Confused)
Yes, we are moving to Central America. Our first destination is Costa Rica. Stefanie and I have both wanted to live abroad for most of our lives individually and collectively. We always thought this would come later in life, but we found a window of time and we're going to take advantage of it.
Nicoya Peninsula on the Northwest Coast of Costa Rica.
Why are you doing this? (Bewildered)
We love to travel and engage with new people. We've found our international experiences to be some of the most rewarding times in our lives. We gain new perspectives, get excited about life, and work harder to achieve our goals when we return with the knowledge that everyone doesn't have the opportunities we do.
Why Costa Rica and not somewhere else?
We currently live in a very cold place and we're ready to defrost. We've wanted to visit Central America for a while: the cost of living is low, it's not very far away, and we want to improve/learn Spanish. Since I've already visited Costa Rica and it's one of the most developed countries in Central America, we feel like it's a great place to start our adventure
When are you going?
We are packing up our house right now and moving out on January 31st. If you want to help move or clean, let us know. We're driving our car to my parents house in Southern California for safe keeping and flying to Costa Rica on February 5th.
Where are you going to live? (Like in a box or something?)
Samara Beach on the Nicoya Peninsula with James Draper
We plan to get a long-term rental (house, apartment, or condo) on the Nicoya Peninsula. Our first pick right now is Playa Samara. It's a rural beach town with a beautiful crescent shaped beach. I visited this town with my friends several years ago. We're renting a car for a week to check out some options and then we'll move in and return the car. (That's right...no car...yikes!)
What are you going to do while you're there?
We are going to live there. Normally when we travel, we are only in a place for few days. We are going try to stay in each destination for 2 to 3 months and really experience the culture, people, markets, and lifestyle. I am also going to be apply to several graduate programs in the States that will start in the fall (if I get accepted). We are also both going to be working on our Spanish, and I'll be putting my Internet marketing skills to work. We will, of course, travel around and see the sights.
Seeing the sights at Playa Carillo Only 2.5 km South of Samara.
Um..are you guys really rich or something? (Couldn't help but laugh when I got asked this one.)
Okay, first off...I guess I'm old fashioned. I always thought it was rude to ask about peoples' finances, but since LOTS of people have asked, here you go. No, we are not rich, but we do live on a budget and save money. We are planning to reduce our costs significantly while abroad. For example, we can rent a nice 2 bedroom place for $250 to $450 a month.
I'm also planning to do some work online that will supplement our income.
Does your wife really want to do this?
Yes, Stefanie was the one that actually made the final push to make it happen. One day, she confronted me with a list bullets points for why we NEED to do this.
Are you worried about getting sick? The baby?
We've all been to the doctor recently to make sure we're in good working order. We have travel medication, and we're getting up to date on our shots before we leave. The pediatrician said this is a great time for Tatum to travel and commented that this is going to be a great experience for her development.
How much sunscreen are you going to take?
I know right? We've got two fair kids in this family. We're taking a bunch, and hoping we'll meet the weight limit. When you come visit, feel free to bring a refill. :)
How are you going to get around?
We are planning to use the bus system, taxis, or other local transportation. They don't have chicken buses in Costa Rica, they use charter buses that we've heard are very nice.
What are you going to eat?
Food, we're planning to eat food. :) Just kidding, we hope to shop at the local markets and supplement with trips to larger supermarkets to stock up on diapers, cleaning supplies, and other goods. We're hoping to make a couple friends that can show us how to whip up some Costa Rican dishes.
Are you coming back? How long are you going to be there?
We hope to be down there for about 6 or 8 months, pending my acceptance to graduate school in the states. But if it doesn't work out, we'll buy a return ticket and go home.
By Scott H.